Shoryuken's Disease

I’ve been playing Street Fighter 2 for almost two decades. I consider it the modern day version of chess. True, there’s a huge emphasis on player skill, but it’s also a highly strategic game. You have to quickly determine your opponent’s combat style and then apply an effective counter attack. Even though you need fast reflexes, it essentially comes down to out thinking your adversary. Although, one move is a no-brainer… the Shoryuken. People use it and use it often! It basically beats all moves. Why? It’s because it makes you temporarily invulnerable to all attacks. It doesn’t matter if you get shot with fireballs, hit with electricity or head butted by a sumo wrestler, the Shoryuken will pass right through all of that.

I don’t like the Shoryuken. I can’t seem to do it with the precision that many other players can. It’s like they’re robots or something. Forward, Down, Forward+Down, Punch. It shouldn’t be that complicated to do, but it is for me. I end up fumbling with the controls and throwing a fireball. The Hadoken is quite similar to the Shoryuken. Together, those two moves ruin the gameplay.

It’s a simple strategy. If the player stays on the ground, hit them with a fireball. If they try to jump over it, hit them with the Shoryuken. Positioning and timing is important, and there are some tricky moves to watch out for, but that’s been a basic strategy since the beginning. One thing’s for sure, I don’t jump at Ryu or Ken if I know they’re controlled by a capable player. There’s no chance of getting past the Shoryuken… none… zip… zilch… nope… not happening.

The worst is when I see a Shoryuken happy player. They’ll just repeat the short version over and over again… Shoryuken… Shoryuken… Shoryuken… it’s like they’re crazy. The temporary invulnerability is great, but it is temporary. I’ll just step back and crack that player out of their rhythm. It makes me wonder what these players are thinking when they do that? Somewhere in the world is someone mashing the sequence – Forward, Down, Forward+Down, Punch. Are they using a macro controller, are they having fun or is something just wrong with them.

Shoryuken's Disease

I call it Shroyuken’s Disease, a desperate attempt to cling to temporary invulnerability. Yes, if real life had a stance that made me invincible, I’d probably want to do it often. Are you going to get hit by a car? Shoryuken! Is a mugger going to stab you? Shroyuken! In the real world, people are delicate. But what if there was some way to survive any danger, and all you had to do was punch your fist towards the sky? It could become terribly unhealthy as you might be doing it all the time. Did you hear a weird sound in your house? Shoryuken!  I imagine that people would become addicted to it.

So when I’m playing Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix… I get a good chuckle out of the Shoryuken spammers. Yet, it makes me think about Capcom. Why would they make a fighting game this way? The move seems terribly unbalancing. It’s like there’s Ryu (and his clones) and then there’s everyone else.